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When can families sue after the death of a loved one

It doesn’t matter how many years someone had before they died or how much time the family had to prepare for their loss, losing a cherished loved one is inevitably a catalyst for profound grief. The death of a family member often also leads to financial complications for those left behind, especially when a loss occurs suddenly.

It is natural for grieving family members in Louisiana to want to find someone to blame for their recent tragedy. In some cases, the law may actually support the right to do so. Sometimes, those who lose a loved one have grounds to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit in the Louisiana civil courts.

When does the law allow families to hold an individual, business or other entity responsible for a death?

When there is clear evidence of fault

Louisiana actually has a relatively broad wrongful death statute. The law permits family members affected by someone’s untimely passing to pursue a claim against a party that is at fault for the death. Either a business or an individual could have direct responsibility for someone’s death.

Fault can stem from negligence, such as failing to maintain a vehicle or a property in safe condition. Fault can also have to do with omissions, such as failing to do something as required in a contract. Finally, fault can also involve intentional misconduct, such as breaking the law.

In a scenario where surviving loved ones have evidence that shows an outside party was at fault for someone’s recent death, they may have grounds to pursue a lawsuit.

How wrongful death claims can help

Those grieving the unexpected passing of a family member may have a hard time understanding the practical implications of that loss at first. Someone’s untimely death can cost their immediate family members tens of thousands of dollars, often much more.

It can also feel unfair for someone innocent to die while the party at fault sees no criminal consequences. A successful wrongful death lawsuit can lead to a sense of having secured justice and therefore closure for those impacted by a tragic situation. They will need to act quickly, however, as state law imposes a one-year statute of limitations on such claims.

Learning more about Louisiana wrongful death claims can benefit those who have been deeply affected by someone’s unexpected passing. Seeking legal guidance can also be helpful when surviving loved ones have questions and/or are in need of assistance.